Gargoyles (live-action film)

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A Gargoyles Live-Action Feature Film from Touchstone Pictures has been in development on-and-off for the last twenty years.

As early as 1995, Disney has been developing a Gargoyles live-action feature film based on original television show. The project has been shelved, having changed writers and executives several times. No actor has ever been attached to the film. [1] From the earliest days of development, the live-action film has always had its own separate continuity from the television series, and is therefore likely that if a movie is ever made it would be non-canonical.

At some point, make-up and visual effects artist Rick Baker was attached to the project and in 1998 designed a maquette of a gargoyle (presumably Goliath). [2][3] During this time, character sketches were also designed by artists Bryan Spaulding Fuller and Carlos Huante. [4][5]

In 2010, it was announced that Disney was developing a live-action film about medieval gargoyles waking up in modern times, but officially unrelated to the television series Gargoyles. [6][7] Three years later, the film remained in development, having changed writers at least once. [8]

The Script

When Touchstone originally expressed interest in the project, they went to Gary Krisel, President of Walt Disney Television Animation. Gary Krisel suggested that they develop the film with a couple of writers who were familiar with the television series. Touchstone soon contacted and made Greg Weisman and Michael Reaves co-producers for the film. [9] The two submitted a treatment (a general outline for the story) which was ultimately rejected. The project then changed hands at Touchstone and soon after Gary Krisel left Disney and according to Greg both he and Michael were "swept aside" on the project. They remained co-producers and were told they'd still be consulted, but in actuality neither ever were. [10] Michael Reaves has described their participation as basically being "Here's some money, now get off the lot." [11]

Dean Devlin was also a writer for the film in 1996, but Touchstone was also unsatisfied with his script. [12][13] In 1998, all Greg Weisman knew about the production was that the film intended to include the characters Goliath and Elisa Maza. [14] Instead of rewrites, Touchstone continued to bring in new writers (including Jim Kouf) to start from scratch. [15][16]

Simon Kinberg (who would later work with Greg Weisman on Star Wars: Rebels) was revealed as a writer in the summer of 2000 and with plans to turn in a first draft in October. [17] At this point it was believed that Kinberg was (at the least) the sixth writer for the project. [18] Neil Gaiman was also approached, but he declined. [19]

Touchstone was still struggling to find the right screenplay in 2001. [20] Two years later it was believed that after seven years or so of actively pursuing a script, Touchstone officially put the film on hold. [21] Besides being unable to move forward with a script, Touchstone's executives were apparently now uninterested in the property. [22]

At the 2006 Gathering, Greg Weisman and Michael Reaves mused that while Touchstone liked the name Gargoyles, they weren't that interested in the actual property. [23]

The Original Treatment

While Greg Weisman has never read any of the scripts that Touchstone turned down, he has revealed tidbits on his own treatment with Michael Reaves. According to Greg, their story was basically "Awakening" but with a strategy of creating a simpler continuity that still focused on Goliath & Elisa relationship. [24] Other details from the treatment include:

  • The film (more-or-less) opening with an eleventh century flashback (presumably to keep the duration of the sleep spell to a 1,000 years).
  • The gargoyles having names. Goliath was still Goliath. Demona was Angel. Lexington was nicknamed Lex, but now short for Alexander. Hudson was merely called "Mentor" or "Soldier."
  • Another character introduced would have been Othello (who doesn't fair too well after he's reawakened).
  • Only three gargoyles (Goliath, Lex and Othello), are awakened, at least initially.
  • The Magus, the Archmage, and even Macbeth were all considered to become the film's primary sorcerer.
  • Elisa not meeting Goliath right away. Instead she and Matt would investigate various strange incidents and reports and over time would discover the gargoyles.
  • Demona resurfacing and becoming the main villain in the movie.
  • In the epilogue, a cache of intact gargoyles (which included Hudson, Brooklyn, Broadway and Bronx) is found and are awakened, ending the film on a hopeful note.
  • Sequel material was seeded throughout the first film, so that future movies could feature Macbeth, Katharine (and the eggs on Avalon), Coldstone, and Thailog.

See Also

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